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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  November 12, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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since republicans took control of the house, mr. boehner, where are the jobs? i'm keith olbermann, good night and good luck and more on mitchell mcconnell's request that he pull troops out of iraq to help the gop with the midterm elections, ladies and gentlemen, having not caught jon stewart's intestinal flu or the case of 9 ponders here's rachel maddow. >> the ponders. >> yes, pondering, ponderousness, ponds, i think pond is the word i'm looking for. >> i think of myself as i proud ponderer, if you don't see me that way i'd like to sort of keep that -- >> we can talk about it slowly over the course of an hour perhaps. a lot of leaning backward lean forward during those interviews is what i always say. >> okay, okay, point taken my friend. point taken. thanks. >> bye. >> you too. thanks to you for staying with us for the next hour. we begin tonight with trouble at home for one of the top
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republicans in the country. unforeseen but now here. trouble on a grand scale for the leader of the republican party in the united states senate. as mitch mcconnell prepares to bring his senate minority back to washington after the weekend, this editorial in his hometown newspaper is staring him in the face. look at this. mcconnell's true colors. this is from louisville's "courier-journal" newspaper. the paper is denouncing their home state senator, the top republican in the senate for what they call, "contemptible hypocrisy." what is this all about? it is about this actually. "decision points," the new memoir from george w. bush that has just been released. this is definitely not james thurber and i am definitely not trying to be keith but i do actually have to read out of this book for just a second so please forgive me, okay. page 355, start of chapter 12. in september 2006 with the midterm elections approaching my
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friend mitch came to the oval office senior senator from kentucky asked to see me alone. mitchell has a sharp political nose and he smelled trouble. mr. president, he said, you are your unpopularity will cost us control of the congress. mitchell had a point bush writes. many americans were tired of my presidency. but that wasn't the only reason our party was in trouble, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. well, mitch, i asked what do you want me to do about it? mr. president, he said, bring some troops home from iraq. bring some troops home from iraq. that, of course, because this is george w. bush's own book, this is what he quotes himself as having said back to senator mcconnell after that rather astonishing exchange. mitchell, i said, i believe our presence in iraq is necessary to protect america and i will not withdraw troops unless military conditions warrant. i made it clear i would set troop levels to achieve victory in iraq, not victory at the
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polls. which is sort of really as much of the taste as you need about how george w. bush portrays himself in his new book. but what is important here is not get bush's own incredibly healthy view of his own ethic, his sharp memory and perfect electrocution and ending the sentence with the word warrant but what is important is what he says. what this book says about the man who is now head of the republican party in the senate, according to president bush mitch mcconnell told him to bring some troops home from iraq so republicans wouldn't lose control of congress in that year's elections so republicans could win in the 2006 midterms. mitchell mcconnell telling george bush he wants had him to draw down troops in the middle of the war so republicans could do better in the elections. wow. mitch mcconnell it should be noted is not denying this. we spoke with his office today. we will have more on that in a moment but because he is not denying it, this is what we're left with.
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while mitch mcconnell was telling president bush in private to pull troops out of iraq not for any national security reason but for political reasons because it would be good for the republican party in the midterms, while he was saying that to the president lobbying for that in private, here's what he was saying in public about democrats' efforts to get president bush to withdraw troops. >> general abizaid had it correct when he said if we leave iraq they'll follow us. they'll come back here. so cutting and running is not a strategy for protecting the american people here in the united states. >> cutting and running. see, democrats want to cut and run from iraq. that was september 2006, september 5th, to be specific, september 5th, 2006. mitch mcconnell excoriating democrats for even suggesting that president bush might pull out troops from iraq. according to president bush it was that same month, september 2006 that mitch mcconnell was arguing with him privately to
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pull troops out of iraq because "your unpopularity is going to cost us control of the congress." just a month before mitch mcconnell told that to president bush democrats in congress wrote a letter to the president. that letter said in part "the open-ended commitment in iraq that you have embraced cannot and should not be sustained. we need to take a new direction." the democrats were asking president bush to begin pulling troops out of iraq on national security and fiscal grounds. mitch mcconnell was privately arguing the same thing except on political grounds, privately he was arguing the same thing that democrats were arguing, privately he was also asking for troops to be taken out of iraq. privately that's what he was doing. but in public, quote, the democrat leadership finally agrees on something, unfortunately it's retreat leaving americans more vulnerable and iraqis at the mercy of al qaeda." so in public mitch mcconnell was
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essentially calling democrats all but appeasers of al qaeda for them wanting to withdraw troops from iraq. at the same time he was telling george w. bush in private that he wanted to withdraw troops from iraq because it would be good for the republicans in the elections. again, that meeting with president bush where mitch mcconnell is saying pull out troops happened september 2006. here's mitch mcconnell on september 6th, 2006. >> they want to attack rumsfeld because they don't want to implement what they really want to do which is get out. >> see, democrats just want to get out. while he was saying that publicly, privately he was telling george w. bush the exact same thing because he thought it would help republicans in the elections. this is an incredible story. september 3rd, 2006, mitch mcconnell appeared on the cbs sunday show "face the nation" the guest right before him that day was democratic party chairman howard dean. >> the democrats want a new direction in our defense policy.
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we want to fight the war on terror. we don't think that the iraq war is the right way to fight the war on terror because it simply has nothing to do with the war on terror. >> asked to respond to the plan that howard dean laid out there, shifting resources out of iraq, mitch mccome that day said their plan is to leave. what they'll do is cut and run in iraq. people need to remember what democrats do when they're in the majority. they'll wave the white flag in the war on terror. mitch mcconnell was saying that in public the same month he was encouraging president bush in private to -- what does he call it -- wave the white flag in the war on terror, cut and run? encouraging president bush in private 0 pull out troops. why did he want to do it? it would helprepublicans in the upcoming elections. we called senator mcconnell's office today to find out why he was saying one thing in public and one totally different thing in private and i would love to discuss with him whether or not he thinks it would help the
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republicans in an election is a good basis on which to make national security decisions about american men and women in wartime. mitch mcconnell's office gave us this statement "senator mcconnell does not comment on advice he may have given the president on improving the president's political standard but the public record is clear headline his unwavering support for ensuring that our troops in the field were newly funded and general petraeus was able to execute a counterinsurgency strategy free of arbitrary deadlines for withdrawal even when it was politically unpopular to do so." does it count as an arbitrary deadline if it's before the elections? and as for whether or not the public record is clear, yeah, that's not the point. the public record is very clear. the problem is that what you're doing in public is the opposite of what you were doing in private. in private with the president, excoriating everyone in public for making the same case that you were making in private except other people making that case said they wanted the war ended for national security
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reasons. you told the president you wanted the war ended to help your political party. regardless of what what was good for the country. as i said, mitch mcconnell is not at this point denying this charge laid against him by george w. bush in mr. bush's new book. if mr. mcconnell does end up denying this, he will have to effectively call george w. bush a liar to do so. as the courier-journal puts it in their editorial unless he is prepared to call a former president of his own party a liar, mr. mcconnell has a choice, he can admit that he did not actually believe the iraq mission was vital to american security regardless of what he said at the time, or he can explain why the fortunes of the republican party are of greater importance than the safety of the united states." again, that's mr. mcconnell's hometown paper. the initial reaction on our staff to finding this thing about mitch mcconnell in george w. bush's book is right at the beginning of a chapter. sort of a showcase moment in the book. the initial reaction of this
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was, ooh, george w. bush is throwing mitch mcconnell under the bus using and abusing mcconnell to show that he, george w. bush, didn't bow to craven politics of people like mitch mcconnell. but with mr. mcconnell -- so if you think about it that way, our reaction obviously mitch mcconnell will deny this and you don't get thrown under the bus. i was the craven guy that wanted to forget national security because we wanted to do what was good for us in the elections but with mitch mcconnell not denying this account, this is now a huge story. we've just been through a midterm election that was not really at all about foreign policy and national security. those were not the main topics of discussion and actually it was an election that had very little to do with mitch mcconnell. he was not a starring figure in these elections either but we are about to start a whole new session of congress on monday. and this scandal puts mitch mcconnell and frankly national security right back in the middle of everything. we asked senator mcconnell today if he would please come on this show to talk about these
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matters, his office declined our request. i hope that he will reconsider. i hope that he will agree to come on the show next week. you'll be the first to know if he does. our professors know. because they've been there. and they work closely with business leaders to develop curriculum to meet the needs of top businesses. which means when our graduates walk in the room, they're not only prepared... they're prepared to lead. devry university's keller graduate school of management. learn how to grow the business of you at but these days you need more than the book. you need website development, 1-on-1 marketing advice, search-engine marketing, and direct mail. yellowbook's got all of that. yellowbook360's got a whole spectrum of tools. tools that are going to spark some real connections.
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good news post-election depression sufferers, the most entertaining race in america this year is still going. officials are still tallying votes in the senate race in alaska and not only will the count decide would will be their senator, but it will also decide the fate of literally hundreds of facial hairs. the fate of those hairs hanging in the balance. please stay with us. ooh. eooh. wooh. [ male announcer ] in the event of a collision,
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hope. it seems ear that there are now no circumstances under which i'm going to get an interview with george w. bush. as of today mr. bush has given interviews to five, count them, five fox news hosts, five, he's also done interviews with cbs and with nbc and cnn is getting an interview with him this weekend and you know if he's doing all of these interviews and i still haven't heard squat, i think it's done. i think it's clear i am not going to get an interview. it is liberating in a way though because now i feel like i can point this out. on the back cover of george w. bush's new book, "decision points" on the back cover photo he is wearing a jacket that says president george w. bush. it's embroidered on the jacket and at the same time, he is also wearing a belt buckle. what does the belt buckle say? it says, governor george w. bush. so he's wearing his name twice in both of his last two job title as well on the clothing on the back of his book.
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this is a thing that i do not specifically have a specific question. i just think it's amazing and i would like to talk with mr. bush about it. i don't -- again, i don't so much have questions about the name and the job title in two places, i just -- i would just like to draw him out about it. i think i could do that. here's something i do have a question about, though. one of the ways we tried to get an interview with george w. bush this year was by entering a facebook contest in which you submitted questions for mr. bush and if -- i don't know if it was mr. bush himself his handlers, if they liked your questions then you would win the contest and be allowed to interview him. we did not win, surprise. one of the questions we submitted, however, as part of our application was this very serious one. are you comfortable with every death sentence that was carried out under your supervision as governor of texas? well now today more than ever i would like to have the chance to ask former president george w. bush that question.
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the texas observer has front paged an astounding story about mr. bush's time in office as governor of texas. mr. bush oversaw the executions of 152 people while he was governor there. he put 152 people to death. as governor he had the power to say thumbs up or thumbs down in all of those cases and 152 times he chose to put a prisoner to death. the last one, the final man executed under george w. bush's time as governor, number 152 was a man named claude jones. claude jones was convicted of murder for killing that took place in 1989, part of a liquor store holdup in which a man was shot and killed. claude jones says he didn't kill anyone. he didn't do it. there was only one piece of physical evidence that connected had him to the murder. it was a hair that was found at the crime scene. and the prosecution said that hair belonged to claude jones. turns out it didn't. groups including the innocence project a legal organization dedicated to clearing people who have been wrongfully convicted
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as well as the texas observer itself they succeeded in getting that hair from the crime scene tested this year. ten years after claude jones was executed. that test showed conclusively that the hair from the crime scene did not belong to claude jones. it in fact belonged to the victim in the crime. because the case against mr. jones hinged on the jury believing that he was there, because of that hair that was found at the scene, mr. jones asked that the hair be dna tested before he was executed by the state of texas. the state of texas turned down that request. that request for dna testing was actually made to then governor george w. bush. governor bush had a system in place in his office in which state lawyers prepared short summaries for him about prisoners who were due to be executed. mr. bush used those summaries to make a thumbs up or thumbs down decision on executions. life and death decisions. even though mr. bush had previously straighted that he was in favor of dna testing, ahead of executions in capital
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cases the summary his staff gave him of claude jones' case left out, neglected to mention that jones had requested a dna test of that crucial piece of evidence. mr. bush just read the summary presumably, didn't look into it any further, in any event he gave the executioner the thumbs up and on december 7th, 2000 in the midst of the florida recount that would ultimately name him president almost exactly ten years ago now claude jones was killed. joining us is dave mann senior editor at "the texas observer" covering the story. thanks for joining us. appreciate your time. >> my pleasure. >> the day before claude jones was killed, the day before he was executed, he asked for that hair from the crime scene to be tested. what do we know about what happened to that request? >> well, it went nowhere really. he requested a stay of execution to as you say to have the hair submitted for dna testing, and he made that request to two separate texas courts, and to
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the governor's office and he was turned down by both courts, and his last hope was with then governor george w. bush, and as you mentioned, he seemingly had a good chance with the governor's office because bush had previously expressed support for dna testing to verify someone's guilt before they are executed, and, in fact, earlier that year he had granted a 30-day stay of execution in another case so that that prisoner could get dna testing and in that case, the testing confirmed his guilt and that man was executed. and on other occasions bush had expressed support for this kind of dna testing, unfortunately, for claude jones as you mentioned, the briefing memo that lawyers in the governor's office prepared for bush did not mention that jones and his attorneys were requesting a stay
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precisely for a dna testing, in fact, the words "dna" do not appear anywhere in that four-page memo. why that is the case is a very good question, in fact, i spent a good part of today calling around to lawyers who worked in the governor's office and on this case to ask them that question and i haven't gotten any answers on that yet, but i do think this is one of the real tragedies of this case because the test that we just conducted, the dna test really could have been done ten years ago when claude jones was still alive and there's a good chance that had these results popped up or been discovered in 2000, there's a good chance that claude jones would be alive today. >> why did the texas observer as a magazine join the effort to get this evidence tested? >> we felt this was a real issue of the public's right to know that the hair was still around
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in a courthouse in rural east texas and this was clearly public information that could confirm or overturn someone's guilt in a death penalty case and we felt very strongly that the public needs to have confidence in the criminal justice system, that the verdicts that are being issued are correct and if that's not the case, then we need to figure out what those problems are and so we thought this -- we felt like this case was a real public right to know issue, a public information issue and we got involved on that basis. >> barry shekt from the innocence project, when he was asked about this i guess he put out a statement about this today and attributed this execution to what he called a completely inadequate post conviction review process, obviously leaving out from the summary that went to the governor the request for a dna test in this case seems like there's something wrong with the system,
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seems like given the governor's at that time his feelings about dna testing, the way he had made decisions in other cases in which dna testing was pending or possible, given how important that was the fact that it was left out seems like something was wrong with this post conviction review process. is the process the same now? has it been improved since then? >> well, i think there's two possible answers to that question. since we've had a lot of revelations recently about problems in death penalty case, problems with forensic evidence i do feel like texas courts and attorneys and juries are much more aware of the potential for wrongful conviction and a wrongful execution, so i do think there are people taking closer looks at these issues as these cases move through the system. when they get to the governor's office, however, i don't know if the possess has been improved and one of the reasons for that is because we don't have access to the documents anymore. the memo that the attorneys
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wrote to bush were -- they were available. they were public information under bush's administration. under rick perry's administration those are considered private documents and are no longer public information and are no longer released to the press. so we haven't seen one of these legal memos on an execution in years. we're not sure what the governor is being told. from the available evidence, cases like the cameron todd willingham arson case where there's allegations of a wrongful execution, as well, it does seem like there are problems in the process, certainly when you get to the governor's office. >> and certainly when you consider that these are not exactly appealable, life and death decisions here. dave mann from "the texas observer" senior editor at "the texas observer," thank you for pursuing this, i'm sure what was difficult and expensive journalism and thanks for taking time to join us tonight. >> my pleasure. it should be noted that since claude jones was killed,
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he was the last man killed, the last prisoner killed when george w. bush was governor, since then, the state of texas has executed 225 more of its prisoners. all right. still to come on the show, debunction junction. one involves cheating, fighting and something very vaguely related to the dallas cowboys. it's make texas mad at us tonight on the "the rachel maddow show." please stay with us. duty in iraq. when i was transitioning from active duty, i went to a military officer hiring conference. it was kind of like speed dating. there were 12 companies that i was pre-matched with, but walmart turned out to be the best for me. sam walton was in the military, and he understood the importance of developing your people. it's an honor to be in a position of leadership at walmart. i'm captain tracey lloyd, and i work at walmart. ♪
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since we did the show in alaska a couple of weeks ago, our executive producer bill wolf has not shaved. which you might have noticed if you follow his vid tweets online. last time we talked about it on the show we were calling it bill's road beard. but, in fact, as an homage to our bizarre joe miller interview bill has declared that he's not going to be shaving his beard until there's a result in alaska's senate race, until we know for sure who won. today there was very mixed news out of alaska for bill wolf and for his terrifying facial hair. there are more than 92,000 write-in votes to be counted altogether. ballot counters just passed the halfway mark this afternoon. the anchorage daily news reports more than 90% of the write enough ins are unchallenged for murkowski. another 8% are considered counted by challenged. in other words, counted as murkowski votes but they've been challenged by the joe miller
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campaign and they could conceivably end in up court. at this pace lisa murkowski is on track mathematically to win, to win overwhelmingly actually. still though lots more counting ahead. probably all weekend. and lots more hair every day on bill's now harrowing visage. by the end of this he may be able to wrap it around his head like a hat by the time this is decided because the miller campaign is apparently challenging every single ballot in which an fbi handwriting sample might reveal the slightest trace of a personality. this write-in, for example, leans too far left or runs the letters together so you'd never guess it says lisa murkowski, right? challenge. this one, another one. this one leans too far right or something. this one can't be a write-in for lisa murkowski because i don't know what, joe miller is the true conservative leaning right or something? joe miller has filed suit in federal, mark that federal court
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to block alaska election officials from counting write-in votes in which lisa murkowski's name is misspelled even minorly. even if the election officials think the voter clearly intended to vote for lisa murkowski. mr. miller argues that alaska's state law prohibits any misspellings whatsoever from being counted. also, maybe people who cast write-in votes for lisa murkowski but misspelled her name didn't want their votes to count maybe they did it on purpose to protest her candidacy. can i note that a big part of miller's campaign appeal was states' right, states' rights this, states' rights that, let the states deal with unemployment insurance and social security. the minimum wage is a federal overreach. national parks, they're a federal overreach. that joe miller, mr. states' rights joe miller is now quite literally trying to make a federal case, federal case out of how the ballots are being counted in his race.
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and the state government of alaska is not having it. an assistant state attorney general writing the plaintiff miller in this case has attempted to dress his state law claims in federal question clothing authorized to go forum shopping. the alaska court system is the proper forum for this case. the parties have until next week to finish arguing this case so bill keeps getting hairier. the only thing woolier about the story than bill at this point is that mr. miller late in the game has brought on board who i think is a new campaign adviser for his campaign, new adviser to challenge write-in ballots by the dozen. his name is floyd brown. if you're old enough you may remember floyd brown for his iconically racist willie horton ad from the 1988 presidential race. more recently he founded citizens united. yes, that citizens united and he's been the proprietor of a website called impeach obama
9:33 pm and he's very, very, very serious about this issue in his heart. amanda turkle at huffington post quoting him from septeer of this year. floyd brown says "barack obama is a very dangerous man. over the last two years we have been watching the slow progression of what i call a bloodless coup. for the international socialist movement of which barack obama is a card carrying member, card carrying? the united states must be brought to its knees and i guarantee you that barack hussein obama is doing everything he can to bring the country to its knees. he wants to bring it to its knees". that's not me doing a character ra tur. that's actually what he said. now brown has moved his vague accusation factory to alaska where he minting new vague accusations telling the press that a ballot box in one precinct was not secure because electoral judges had a key to it. that one is getting its own
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lawsuit. meanwhile, yes, bill, i know, it itches. bill, alaska, america, we will keep updating you on alaska's great and perpetual senate race until it finally really ends by that point we'll be able to sell bill's beard for mattress ticking. e, gobble ] [ female announcer ] great wine, great price, gobble it up. [ gobble, gobble ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums
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we have not used it since we introduced it so i'm very excited to deploy for the first realtime our big, new, important sound. >> how long you -- >> the 111th congress with nancy pelosi as speaker of the house and harry reid as senate majority leader reconvenes for its last time in session on monday. so get your spinach this weekend. you'll need strength. the big question looming over d.c. right now is which snowman we're going to end up with when the bush tax cuts expire on new year's eve, the blue snowman, the democrats' tax proposal or the republican one. as you can see the two plans offer roughly the same size tax cuts for each income group. democrats and republicans both want tax cuts for all income up
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to $250,000, but boing, there's the difference. republicans want tax cuts for income over $250,000 as well, which has the handy side feature of blowing a $700 billion hole in the national debt. and it only benefits the richest people in the country. this is the fight that starts on monday. this is the fight that starts on monday and has to finish by new year's eve. which of these two things do we getty there's been a lot of reporting recently both reporting and speculation that the white house is going to cave in and give republicans what they want on this. even though while this decision is going to get made republicans are still a pretty tiny minority no both houses of congress. asked about that, he's going to cave reporting and speculation today, president obama shot earth right down. >> that is the wrong interpretation because i haven't had a conversation with republican and democratic leaders. here's the right interpretation, i want to make sure that taxes
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don't go up for middle class families starting on january 1st. that's my number one priority. for those families and for our economy. i also believe that it would be fiscally irresponsible for us to permanently extend the high income tax cuts. i think that would be a mistake, particularly when we've got our republican friends saying that their number one priority is making sure that we deal with our debt and our deficit. i continue to believe that extending permanently the upper income tax cuts would be a mistake and that we can't afford it. and my hope is is that somewhere in between there we can find some sort of solution, but i'm not going to negotiate here in seoul. my job is to negotiate back in washington with republican and democratic leaders.
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>> he may have to negotiate with republican leaders on that position, but he's not going to have to do any negotiating with democratic leaders. at least not in the house because nancy pelosi not only shares the president's position on this, she is being clear as a bell about it. >> the position that we have and which is the position that the president has put forth is that everybody should get a tax cut in our country. the problem comes when dan additional tax cut to the wealthiest 2% that will heap $700 billion in debt onto our children and our grandchildren. so this is it. we want to fight for the middle class. we want to create jobs. we want to have tax cuts for everyone, but the additional tax cut at the high end is too costly." >> what about a temporary extension including a tax cut for those at the high end, a year, two years? >> well, our position in the house has been that we support
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the tax cuts for the middle -- for everyone, but not an additional tax cut at the high end. it's too costly. it's $700 billion. one year would be around $70 billion. that's a lot of money to give a tax cut at the high end. >> now, the beltway wisdom dom says democrats will cave on this and give the democrats what they want and give it away and give republicans what they want. the democratic base on the other hand sees this as something that democrats don't need to lose and that they shouldn't lose. but this is a perfect line in the sand moment to show that the white house and the democrats have guts, that they don't blink when they're threatened, that they're the fiscally conservative party standing up for the middle class and that republicans are the ones being irresponsible on this. the beltway says the democrats will cave. democratic basis they won't. who's right? joining us now is chris hayes who is always right, washington ed tore of "the nation" an msnbc contributor.
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hi, chris. >> rachel, i can't help but notice i'm not getting the charlie rose treatment here in our interview. >> we couldn't blacken your background but then your jacket would disappear and you would look like you're wearing a dickie. who do you think will turn out to be right, the beltway that says democrats will cave or the democrats who say they're not going to cave? >> you know, i wish i knew. i mean it feels like even odds to be honest. the thing that makes me think that the democrats won't cave is the fact that nancy pelosi is a person driving this train right now. i mean, she is the speaker for the lame duck session and the way things work in the house is that what's going to come to the floor for a vote in the house is what nancy pelosi wants to come to the floor. i mean, barring some sort of cataclysmic thing in which she gets mass defectionness other own caucus which her records indicates won't happen and barring some unbelievable pressure by the white house it really will be what she wants to see brought to the floor and i trust her to bring forward simply a middle class tax cut
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that doesn't include the $700 billion for the richest 2%. >> let's be specific about that. in that you guys in the control room, can we put the snowman graph back up showing the bottom rating. since the two parties agree on cutting taxes for everyone. >> right. >> but the rich, everything but the bottom two levels there, is -- what's the resistance to them voting first on what the two parties all agree on and leaving the vote up or down on the tax cuts for rich people to a separate vote? >> well, i don't know. i mean, i mean the resistance is this and i'll tell you what the resistance is. the resistance is what -- what one academic recent will i in a paper about american inequality is the income defense industry. the income defense industry which operates on the blue dogs and conservative democrats an democratic party and republican party wants that $700 billion put into the pockets of the people that have benefited the most from the rising inequality in american economy. that is what this is. is there is no -- i mean really there are places where there are real policy disputes.
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this is pure class warfare. this is really who is going to get what slice of the pie. there is no policy rationale for this not in terms of recovery, not in -- certainly not in terms of recovery and debts but a naked and boldfaced play by people who have power and money in this country to use the levers to influence apportion to them a larger amount of the pie. >> what's the other side of that. the afl-cio, the big labor organization wants that decoupled vote. they want to vote on everything the two parties agree on and put the vote for upper income tax breaks into a separate vote. they're putting their leverage into that but who else is -- i guess what is the democratic base pressure on this side look like? what are the elements of that. >> well, look, i mean a lot of groups moveon will weigh in, the pccc is sending out a petition and were pushing back hard yesterday when the axelrod -- or two days aago when the agole rod interview came out. this unites the caucus or the base and i think broader than
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unites the base really unites most of the party. i mining this is one of these cool things. tack cuts for the rich is the sort of central identifying policy of the bush era, of the republican party. that and starting war, frankly. those are the two thing the republican party likes to rally around. this shouldn't be a hard thing to rally the democratic base around. you know, what's happened here is a psychological switch as opposed to a switch in the real power. the psychological switch is the electric. remember, before the election john boehner was willing to cave too. a month ago or two months ago on tv shows he was willing to cave too so nothing has changed from since he was willing to cave. >> even since the election the new cbs polling on this today shows a majority of america, more americans want the tax cuts for the rich gone than want to hold on to them. chris hayes, washington editor of "the nation." thank you, my friend. much appreciated. >> thank you. have a great weekend. >> you too. a freshly elected new member of congress says there is a left wing vile vicious, despicable machine out there and he's
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vowing to bring that machine to its machine's knees. >> this liberal progressive socialist agenda. this left-wing, vial, vicious, despicable machine. >> it is amazing it is not only a machine it is a machine with knees. everybody, freak out. that's coming up plus some debunkering. please stay with us. ying. please stay with us. ng. please stay with us. g. please stay with us. . please stay with us. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if cars didn't need keys? if you could talk to them with this?
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debunction debunction junction, what's my function. as the political and legal wrangling goes on for gays performing main the military, don't ask don't tell is going to die at the supreme court. is that true or false? false. the debunking of this wishful thinking on the left is not what you think it's about. today the supreme court rejected a further suspension of the don't ask don't tell policy. that was all -- an all but forgone conclusion that ruling itself is not that big a deal. the bigger deal is here. this is the tiny, tiny little
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notice that supreme court justice elena kagan recused herself from that ruling. she did not take part because of her previous job in the obama administration touched on that case. this recusal means justice kagan would have to recuse herself again if this case came before the supreme court. why is that so important? because it's not like there are alternates. there is no bench for this bench if one justice has to sit out a case, they just decide it with eight justices instead of nine which means n this case f justice kagan recused herself, you would only need four votes, not five. four votes. four votes. i wonder where four totally, reliably, anti-gay rights could be found on this supreme court. without elena kagan, don't ask don't tell is unlikely to be killed in a u.s. courtroom if it
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dies t dies by legislation. >> story number two, one of the cheatingest boxers in u.s. history is being allowed to fight because texas and texas alone does not care how big a cheater he is the biggest boxing match this weekend could only happen in texas legally. true or false? true. the biggest draw in boxing is m manny pacqeio, he is taking on antonio margarito. he was found with something like plaster in his leather clubs. a little something extra to break your face. that's not only super against the rules but super dangerous, even barbaric, even for boxing. because he was caught red handed
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and under universal suspicion that he loaded his boxing gloves in previous fights, he was suspended. antonio margarito was effectively banned from boxing in all of u.s. for last year. then because people would pay to see it, he was booked to fight manny, but nobody would give him a license. the guy had plaster in his gloves. that's where texas comes in. without a hearing, the fight folks in texas said it's all good and granted antonio margarito a license to box in the lone star state. who cares if he cheated, and he cheated in a way that could kind of sort of kill a guy. tomorrow night, ann known yo margarito could earn as much as $6 million to fight manny at cowboy stadium in dallas.
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i'm even more committed, more focused on making sure this liberal progressive socialist agenda, this left-wing vile, vicious despicable machine that is out there is soundly brought to it's knees. that's my commitment to you. you don't have to worry about me doing the right thing in washington, d.c. >> you don't have to worry about me doing the right thing in washington. depends on the meaning of the word right. that was the voice of alan west. on tuesday we ran a story about the remarkable choice he made for his new chief of staff, the person who would organize and
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lead his office in d.c. he chose a talk radio host from his district in florida on whose show he has reportedly appeared more than 100 times in the past four years. >> i don't care how this gets painted by the mainstream media. i don't care if this shows up on youtube but i'm convinced that the most important thing the founding fathers did to ensure me my first amendment rights was they gave me a second amendment. and if balance don't work, bullets will. i've never in my life thought that the day would come where i would tell individual citizens that you responsible for being the militia that the founding fathers designed. they were very specific. you need to be prepared to fight tyranny. >> that is who congressman elect
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alan west chose to be his chief of staff, joyce kaufman. we reported that on tuesday. on thursday, ms. kaufman said she was no longer going to be chief of staff, but she still also declared she would put him on the radio a lot. >> i want everybody to understand, especially the people on the left to understand simply is that you will continue to fight on your battlefields and your voice there. i will fight them on the battlefield in washington, d.c. we'll meet in the middle after we soundly defeat them both. but they need to understand now that i'm even more committed, even more focused on making sure that this liberal progressive socialist agenda, this left wing vile, vicious, despicable machine out there is soundly brought to its knees. that's my commitment to you. you don't have to worry about me doing the right thing in washington, d.c. >> we continued